Wall Oven Buying Guide
Wall ovens offer flexibility that you won’t find in a range. They can be installed on just about any wall in your kitchen, and at any height, so you don’t have to bend over to place a roast into the cavity.
The majority of wall ovens are electric, and that’s what we test. In our evaluations of ranges, we generally find that electric ovens perform slightly better than gas, particularly at broiling. Plus, you don’t need gas or propane service at your house to install one—an electrician can run an electric line to anywhere in your kitchen, typically for a few hundred dollars.
One thing to keep in mind if you are shopping for a wall oven right now: There’s currently a nationwide appliance shortage. Not all appliances have been hit equally by shortages and back orders, though. You may find that you have an easier time securing a wall oven, as opposed to a range, because ranges are more popular.
But keep in mind that if you’re buying a new wall oven and a cooktop at the same time, that might prove to be more difficult. So if you’re redoing your kitchen, or replacing the major cooking appliances, you’ll want to make sure you can buy both appliances at the same time. Our advice? Look to local independent dealers, consider scratch-and-dent models or floor samples, or be ready to be flexible about which models you select—some models can ship in days and some may take months.
How We Test Wall Ovens
We test electric wall ovens in single- and double-oven configurations using a combination of food and precise temperature measurements. To start, we wire each oven cavity with thermocouples—wire thermometers capable of withstanding high temperatures—to see how evenly the oven heats from one spot to another.
Next we bake multiple trays of sugar cookies and cakes on different racks, looking to see which models produce evenly browned baked goods and which leave these items raw or burned. In a typical year, we bake more than 2,000 cookies and more than 400 cakes in the course of oven testing. Then we run a pan of burger patties under each broiler to see how evenly the broiler heats, and whether it gets hot enough to sear.
We assess features and rack positions, and measure the usable area inside each oven. Last, to test the self-clean cycle, we paint the inside of each oven with a disgusting mixture that includes egg, tapioca, cheese, and pie filling and bake the mixture into place before running the cycle, seeing which ovens come clean and which leave you stuck scrubbing. For the latest test results, see our wall oven ratings.
What You Need to Know
Available wall oven widths are 24, 27, 30, and 36 inches. The most common are 30 inches wide, so that’s what we test. If you’re replacing a wall oven, it’s crucial that you measure the wall oven and the cabinet cutout before you shop.
Electric wall ovens are overwhelmingly the most popular type. In our tests of ovens in ranges, we find that electrics tend to perform better, particularly at broiling.
Many manufacturers make misleading claims about oven capacity—typically, they include every square inch of space, even if there’s no way to use it to cook (like the area below the bottom rack). We look for usable capacity, and find big differences between models. For single-oven wall ovens, the smallest models in our test offer about 2 cubic feet of usable space, and the largest models (those that we’d rate as Excellent for capacity) have more than 3 cubic feet of usable space. It might not matter much for a tray of cookies, but you’ll be glad you have the clearance when you’re finessing a giant turkey into the oven next Thanksgiving.
Wall ovens come in single- and double-oven configurations, and we test both. A double oven lets you cook more, and allows you to cook foods at two different temperatures, which is particularly helpful around busy cooking holidays. A double wall oven is a lot bigger than the double oven you might find built into a range (which is really just a single oven divided into two cavities). For a true double wall oven, both cavities are the same size.
Wall Oven Types
Most sold are 30-inch-wide electric models, and that’s what we test. They come with a single oven or double ovens. With a model in mind, check the manufacturer’s online manual to find exact cutout dimensions for the wall oven.
Single Wall Oven
Single wall ovens are usually smaller than the ovens you’d find on a range—the single wall ovens we test range in usable capacity from 2 to 3 cubic feet, and those in ranges are usually between 3 and 4 cubic feet.
Make sure that the controls are easy to see and reach, and that the door is at a height that prevents unnecessary bending.
More than 95 percent of all models available are electric; that type generally performs better in our tests of oven ranges.
Double Wall Oven
Double wall ovens offer double the capacity of a single wall oven, and they share a single control panel. They allow you to bake, roast, or broil at two different temperatures at the same time.
As with a single-oven model, a double wall oven should be installed at a height that allows for easy access—the upper oven should be reachable and the lower oven shouldn’t require any more bending than needed.
In addition to a true double oven, like the one shown above, some manufacturers offer a single wall oven with a steam oven or a microwave built in above the oven. Consumer Reports does not currently test those models.
Wall Oven Features
The more features on a wall oven, the higher the price. However, some of these features boost safety and convenience.
Wall Oven Brands
This higher-end brand offers a full selection of German-engineered kitchen appliances.
This midlevel mass-market brand sells a variety of appliances. The line includes wall ovens priced from $1,000. The appliances are sold through Sears, home centers, and independent appliance retailers. GE Profile: This midlevel mass-market line includes wall ovens priced from $1,000.
The cooking line from this higher-end brand includes electric wall ovens starting at $1,500. The appliances are sold through Sears, home centers, and independent appliance retailers.
This high-end brand sells electric wall ovens priced from $1,500. KitchenAid appliances are sold through Sears, home centers, and independent appliance retailers.
LG makes single- and double-oven wall ovens in different sizes and configurations.
This luxury appliance maker sells electric wall ovens priced from $1,500. The appliances are sold through independent appliance retailers.
One of the larger manufacturers of wall ovens, Samsung makes single- and double-oven models sold at most major retailers.
This luxury brand sells electric wall ovens priced from $1,500. The appliances are sold through independent appliance retailers.
This luxury brand sells electric wall ovens priced from $1,500. Viking is considered the original pro-style brand. The company adds premium features to its ovens and cooktops, and offers the Professional and Designer series, both sold through independent appliance retailers.
This midlevel mass-market brand sells wall ovens that cost $1,000 to $1,500. The appliances are sold through home centers and independent appliance retailers.
This luxury brand sells electric wall ovens priced from $2,000. Wolf targets consumers who want a pro look and high performance. These appliances are sold through independent appliance retailers.